The Australian portion of the field for the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Royal Birkdale swelled to nine after four more players qualified overnight in the United Kingdom.
Professionals Stephanie Na, Stacey Keating and Bree Arthur along with the world’s No. 5 amateur, Su Oh, graduated through the qualifying tournament at Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club in Lancashire.
They will join Karrie Webb, Nikki Campbell, Sarah Kemp, Sarah-Jane Smith and Minjee Lee in the field for the third women’s major of the 2014 season. It is the biggest Australia contingent for quite some time.
Na, a five-year professional from Adelaide, shot a four-under-par 70 to be the star of the qualifiers at Southport and Ainsdale. She finished fifth among the qualifiers, while Metropolitan’s Oh and Keating tied-11th with their two-under-par 72s. Arthur had to progress through a playoff after finishing 15th.
For the 18-year-old pair of Lee and Oh, both members of the Golf Australia elite amateur program, it is a further step forward as they complete their amateur careers. Lee finished tied-22nd in the United States Women’s Open recently and also played well at the Kraft Nabisco Championship earlier this year. Although she is still an amateur, her world ranking already has soared to No. 71.
Both outstanding amateurs intend playing at the LPGA qualifying school later this year.
By: Martin Blake for Golf Australia